Please welcome guest Keith McCafferty to Murder She Writes!
If it is true that the three most powerful words in the English language are “I Love You,” I believe it is equally true that the four most powerful words one can string in sequence are “Tell Me a Story.”
Human beings have a fundamental need to tell stories. The first stories that anthropologists are aware of are recorded in the pictographs painted on the cave walls of Lascaux in southwestern France. They are more than 20,000 years old. Paleolithic scholars believe that these drawings of bison, cats, bear and rhinoceros are accounts of past hunting successes and are a mystic ritual to improve the chances for success in future hunts.
Before I became a novelist, I made my living, such as it was, by writing non-fiction hunting and fishing narratives, mostly for Field & Stream magazine. I was drawn to that form by this most ancient of impulses. I have never kept a journal, I wish I had, but I’ve written hundreds of stories and they run together to form a sort of diary. Those stories are what I read aloud, hour after hour, as my father lay in a bed from which he would never again rise, and those stories are the legacy I will pass to my children. This is who your father was. This is who his father was. This is what I thought about taking you into the mountains and along the rivers with me, before you were ever born. These are the paintings I leave for you on cave walls. Take from them what you will.